how to control sexual desire before marriage
Before I get into this blog post, I have to mention somewhat of a disclaimer.
When I first started this blog a few years ago, I was abstaining from sexual activity as a single woman. Since then things have changed. I have found the one and am no longer abstaining from sexual intimacy. And I would hate to mislead you.
However, I still believe that my three-year celibacy journey was pivotal for my growth as a Christian.
I believe it is a very healthy way to live and encourage and support anyone who is abstinent. This is why I continue to share my experience on how to control sexual desire before marriage.
Being a single Christian woman and celibate
When I first wrote this blog post I was single for seven years and celibate for about three years. While making the decision to abstain from sexual intercourse at the time was easy, staying committed was a challenge.
Especially, because I had been sexually active before. Trust me I was praying for strength daily.
I knew what it meant to be in long-term relationships and have a partner with whom I have had a sexual relationship. So I knew I had to learn how to control my sexual desires when single.
Even though I enjoyed my single season, there was always a part of me that missed the connection of an intimate relationship.
I mean I was a young single girl who desired to be in a committed relationship that would lead to marriage. Naturally, I missed having the companionship of a young man, the funny conversations with a partner, but also the physical intimacy of a kiss, and more.
I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge it because the sexual temptation was real. And I didn’t want to sweep it under the rug.
Unfortunately, it happens a lot in the Christian community. As a young woman who was figuring out how to live her life for God’s glory, finding people to confide in about this topic wasn’t easy.
I oftentimes felt confused or guilty about a desire which is supposed to be a gift from God. It seemed like a bad thing and I became ashamed and afraid to admit that it even existed.
Looking back now I know that if there is one thing I have learned it’s that you have to admit it instead of ignoring it or shaming yourself for it. Because that will empower you to learn how to deal with it.
This is why I continue to share the below tips on how to control sexual urges when single.
How can I control my sexual desire when I’m single?
1. Place Them Under God’s Control
First things first, I want to clarify that God gave us sexual feelings when he created us so that we would want to be intimate with our future husband one day. It’s a good thing if it is used within the right boundaries, which is marriage.
Nevertheless, I asked myself, why would God give us a sex drive as young adults when we really just need it from the moment we are married? After doing some research and praying about it, the answer was very simple. I found it in Hebrews 2:16-18:
“For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
Jesus came to this earth as a human being, fighting the same temptations as we are today, and he remained free of sexual sin. How did he do it? By placing every temptation under God’s control. Whenever Jesus was tempted or struggled to accept God’s will he would pray.
2. Avoid Feeding Your Sexual Desires
As Christians, we are commanded to “flee from sexual immorality”. Most of us do so by avoiding establishments and situations that could lead to lust.
Staying away from a bar or a club and not inviting a guy over to your house at midnight are no-brainers and will help you to control your sexual urges when single.
However, what about the half-naked model that suddenly appears on your Instagram feed while scrolling down your timeline? Or the uncomfortable sex scene in a romantic comedy you agreed to watch with your girlfriends?
These scenarios catch us off guard and now we have to deal with the sexual thoughts they trigger.
This is where we should follow Apostle Paul’s advice. In Romans 13:14 he says to “make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires”.
That’s why if a certain show you like to watch repeatedly includes scenes that can lead to lust, it is time to stop watching it until you have enough self-control to resist. Same for the music you listen to and the people you follow on social media.
If the lyrics glorify an active sex life or the influencers use a lot of sexual energy, stay clear for a while or hide their content.
I’m convinced that each one of us has different pitfalls and what makes one person stumble might be fine for another. Know yourself and use discernment to assess the situation before you submit yourself to it.
3. Get An Accountability Partner/ Circle
Tip number 3 on how to control sexual desire before marriage is great for a single person.
Especially, when you are dating with purpose and want to wait until marriage to have sex. An accountability partner/ circle is one or multiple close friends that encourage each other to remain pure and holy before God.
As I mentioned earlier I believe that acknowledging your sexual needs before they turn into sexual sin is important.
Therefore, seeking counsel from others and letting them in on your battle will help you fight through it. Because we all know it can be hard to stay strong in our belief in the holy spirit and God’s word at times.
So having friends that know and love you and want you to succeed will provide you with the spiritual guidance and support you need to finish the race.
An accountability circle can be as simple as a chat where you get to ask for prayer or advice. But it can also be a group that meets regularly to discuss scripture about sex, relationship, and love.
The goal is to exchange tips on how to control sexual desires before marriage, understand the way God intended our sex life, and learn about biblical principles that today’s culture disregards.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12
What causes sexual desire?
Without going into the scientific details of the difference between a high sex drive and a low sex drive, I believe that a strong desire for sex is fed by social factors. The world around us feeds us sexual impulses all day. And whether we consciously are aware of it or not we are constantly stimulated.
Your emotional needs as well as a person’s desire for intimacy play a role in why we want physical contact. And both are influenced by the sexual attraction we feel for the people around us.
How do I maintain sexual self-control?
The best way to maintain sexual self-control is by avoiding situations that could compromise you.
So, the first step would be to introduce boundaries for yourself that keep you from stumbling. No overnight stays at your boyfriend’s house or sexual activities that could lead to more.
The most common thing I see with single girls is that we underestimate lust. It might be because we have not been in a dating relationship in a while and therefore we haven’t been tested.
But when your hormone levels are high because you are ovulating or else, and you are in good company, that’s when the real test starts.
When I first became celibate in 2015 I didn’t think it would last that long! I saw it as the appropriate way to grow closer to God and heal from sexual shame.
It took me a while until I was able to understand God’s design for celibacy. But once I learned these tips on how to control sexual desires before marriage, I was able to navigate through it.
It wasn’t always easy but doable. And one book that played a vital role in me understanding God’s design for sex better was The Wait by Devon Franklin and Meagan Good.
The book is filled with personal stories about their sexual experiences as young people, relationship issues with past sexual partners, and the different methods they used to remain abstinent before marriage.
But the important thing is, they are honest. They share the challenges and effects their sexuality had on their daily life during their courtship. It’s an easy read that will make you feel more understood and offer guidance. The Wait is a great place to start if you want to continue your celibacy journey.
Whenever a song or movie puts a sexual desire in your heart you can use a short prayer to give it to Jesus Christ. This one is simple but effective and redirects your thoughts to God in a moment of weakness.
“Heavenly father, I pray that you are my greatest desire. I ban the lust and sin of sexual immorality and thank you for freeing me from it. Amen.”